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Gazprom Neft ships its 200th oil consignment from the Prirazlomnaya offshore rig

Gazprom Neft has completed its shipment of the 200th consignment of ARCO crude from its Prirazlomnaya offshore rig.

Despite the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, all operations on the rig are being undertaken as standard, with all measures necessary being taken to protect employees from COVID-19.

This landmark shipment was undertaken by the Mikhail Ulyanov tanker — several return trips to the Prirazlomnaya rig being necessary to despatch a consignment comprising 70,000 tonnes of oil. The vessel typically approaches one of various direct-loading facilities — or moves away from the platform, at a safe distance — depending on the prevailing wind direction, currents and movements of ice. A dynamic positioning system helps keep the vessel in place during transhipment, but the operation itself only starts once 30 essential safety criteria have been met.

Oil has been transported by vessels from the Sovcomflot group of companies since the rig was first commissioned — shuttle tankers the Mikhail Ulanov (which completed the first shipment of Arctic oil in 2014) and the Kirill Lavrov — both of which have since delivered more than 13 million tonnes of oil to the Port of Murmansk in the six years the Prirazlomnaya rig has been in operation.

“Despatching the 200th oil consignment confirms the considerable stability and safety of the logistics strategy we use. We have developed an ice-management system to ensure continuous operation, year-round, under extreme climatic conditions. This involves continuous analysis and forecasting of hydrometeorological conditions, together with ice-class vessels and icebreakers. Collaboration with Sovcomflot — whose two tankers have, for the past six years, allowed us to ensure reliable oil transportation from the Barents Sea to the Kola Bay — is a further important element in the successful implementation of the Prirazlomnoye project.”
Sergey Chigai Acting CEO, Gazprom Neft Shelf LLC
Notes for editors

The Prirazlomnoye oilfield is located in the south—east of the Barents Sea, 60 kilometres offshore. Recoverable reserves are in the order of 79 million tonnes. The licence to develop this field is held by Gazpromneft-Shelf LLC, a subsidiary of Gazprom Neft. Commercial development of the Prirazlomnoye field started in December 2013. A new oil blend, “ARCO”, was launched on the global market in April 2014. Gazprom Neft produced its 13-millionth tonne of oil at the Prirazlomnoye field in April 2020.

The ice-resistant “Prirazlomnaya” offshore rig was designed and constructed in Russia specifically for development of this field, and is capable of handling all technological operations — drilling, production, storage, and processing and offloading of the finished product. The Prirazlomnaya rig is designed for use under the most extreme environmental and climatic conditions: meeting the most stringent safety requirements, it is capable of withstanding maximum ice loads.

Year-round shipments are undertaken by 70,000-tonne double-hulled ice-class (Arc6) oil tankers, the Mikhail Ulyanov and the Kirill Lavrov. Both vessels were built at the Admiralty Shipyards, St Petersburg specifically for year-round oil transportation from the Prirazlomnaya rig, and are owned by Sovkomflot, under long-term leases to Gazprom Neft Shelf.

The full-service continuity and safe operation of the Prirazlomnaya rig is made possible by the project’s transport and logistics system which, in addition to two shuttle tankers, includes two multifunctional icebreaking vessels, the Vladislav Strizhov and the Yuri Topchev, and the ice-class Sayan Polaris vessel.